Marriage Outside God Can’t Work – Edith Iloh | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

Faith, LIFE

Marriage Outside God Can’t Work – Edith Iloh

Posted: May 10, 2015 at 5:50 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

In this concluding part of the interview published last week, the matriarch of the Iloh family, Rev. Mrs. Edith Iloh shares her testimony on what has kept her going in the 50 years of her marriage to Dr. Moses Iloh. In this chat with ARAMIDE OIKELOME, she talks about the pains, gains trials and the triumphs. She also advised younger women on how to keep their husbands and homes. Excerpts:

You are the centre of attraction today as the bride. How does it feel walking down the Isles again after 50 years of marriage?

Edith Iloh

Edith Iloh

It is so wonderful. I’m so grateful to God; I never knew I could come because for almost two weeks I have been sick; seriously down. I have been praying and trusting God to enable me accomplish this task. People have tried, my children have put in so much; my brother, Bishop Mike Okonkwo and everybody was praying for me and encouraging me. For me not to have appeared today would have been suicidal; but I thank God that the devil was put to shame. I didn’t disappoint my people. Today, I could put my head up and shoulder up high. It is so wonderful an experience. I never knew it was going to turn out like this. I am so grateful to God.

What was it that attracted you to your husband? We learnt he was very tough as a young man. What was the attraction?

I don’t know. I just saw him as he came to our school. At that time, I was teaching at Ijero Grammar School at Apapa Road, Ebute Metta and he normally goes to recruit and train for the Red Cross. Then, I was in the Red Cross Society then. Somehow I didn’t like talking to boys although I was not really a deep Christian. But I told God I didn’t want a boy. I told God I wanted a man; a man that would take me as I am, a man that I can help to fulfill his God given dream. And when I saw him, I got that witness in my spirit and I said to myself, “This is the man”. From then, the relationship started little by little. At a time, things didn’t just work out because there were other ladies interested in him, so many of them. But I told myself “I can’t compete with them”.  I was just being myself, just a girl from the village but I was convinced things would work out. I said “if it works out, fine but if not, I will take it”. There was a time we went apart for months and later we met again. We met in my father’s place. He queried why I didn’t bother to look for him for so long and I replied with a proverb. I told him there is this ant that flies after the rain. When it does all the flying around and falls down, the frog would pick it, it becomes frog’s food. I told him if he was my man he would come back and since he has come back for me, then he would be my husband.

Daddy told us his experience during the war, what was your experience?

His experience was my experience. Thank God for our parents, we were in Biafra to help out because we were volunteers with the Red Cross then. We were taking care of children and wounded people and soldiers during the war. That was my main job; taking them to the hospital. When soldiers were wounded in the battle front, it was my responsibility to move them to the hospital. I didn’t know how we survived. I was driving anything you called motor, trucks, Land Rovers, anything, into the war front. It was so dangerous but we thank God that he helped us through it.

Your husband is a man of the people; he attracts a lot of people to himself. How do you cope?

He is a man of the people really; he attends to a lot of people and I thank God for him. I know God protects him. He talks, he contributes to national issues; that is him and I have no problem with it.

Talking about challenges, you must have had your share. How did you weather the storms of life these 50 years?

How will I start? There were so many challenges. You should know it can never be rosy; things may start rosy but can never be rosy all through. If you are not patient, you will not fulfill your destiny in marriage. It is not easy to see children cry for food, cry for school fees yet nothing is happening. I remember there were times there was no food; only garri at home. At such times, we told our children to fast since that was the only food.  We assured them that God would nourish them. I know God was taking us somewhere and we would get there.  Sometimes they would ask, “Mummy, when shall it be?’ and I would say ‘soon’” With that joy and encouragement, we were able to go through it.

How did you manage your in-laws?

I didn’t have in-laws, they were my parents. I have never had problems with them. We were one family, they were my parents. I used to tell people I have two mothers; my mother in law was there for me always.

So, what is your advice to married couples?

My counsel is that they should try to make their marriage work. Before you get married, people will tell you a lot of things but don’t jump into marriage. Hold on to God and that God will take you to the right person He has prepared for you. You should know why you want that man, that woman. Is it because of his looks, his family background, money or business connections? Before you move, consider it. Then don’t wash your dirty linen outside, both of you should work it out. Again, marriage outside God can never work. You need the Lord all the way.